Houston Rockets: A Carmelo Crisis?

By Nile Miller-Powell

If you told me that 8 games into the Rockets’ season that they would be (3-5) I probably would of laughed uncontrollably. A team that led the harsh Western Conference comfortably ahead of the Warriors with Hall of Fame players like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant is a force to be reckoned with. Also, retaining Chris Paul, James Harden, Clint Capela and adding sharpshooter Carmelo Anthony seemed as if they could be even more dangerous this season. As for now that does not look like the case.

But why? Talisman James Harden is currently averaging 27.8ppg whilst contributing 8.6 assists. This is almost the same statistics as he put up last year in his MVP winning season – he’s showing no signs of fatigue.

Furthermore, James’ 6’0 partner has also started bright as veteran Chris Paul has entered this season averaging 19.2ppg accompanied by 8.7 assists, extremely healthy numbers. Along with this, big man Clint Capela is contributing strongly with 15.8ppg and 11.5rpg continuing his promising progression.

Now, adding Carmelo Anthony who is averaging the same ppg as Clint Capela currently should have been a sure fix for an offensive crusade but something is just not working out. There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony has had trouble settling into this Rockets team as there are strong rumours that he is struggling the layups or 3’s way of the Rockets offense being a prominent mid-range shooter his whole career.

Alternatively, the loss of Trevor Ariza and Mbah a Moute has led to the Rockets defence seriously deteriorating and Carmelo Anthony, not a defensive player, cannot make up for this. This is clearly evident as in games this season the Rockets have lost by 20+ points whilst scoring +100 points, showing that offensively the team is in sync but they haven’t quite adjusted to losing two of their best defenders.

A team that was (65-17) last year and led the Western Conference shouldn’t have too many worries this early into the season as things can be rectified. However, with the Western Conference looking very strong this year, Mike D’Antoni has a huge task to turn around the defensive woes of this team, or in turn turn on the offensive power of Carmelo Anthony and relive the success of last year. As is stands fans and pundits don’t know whether this is a Carmelo Crisis or not, only time will tell.

Edited by Harry Trend

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